A cynical look at, my cynical look, at New Year’s resolutions

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I’ve never had a New Year’s resolution. That is because I’ve always had a cynical attitude towards them. I feel if there’s something about your life that you feel you need change, change it!! Why do you have to wait until New Year? And on top of that, people hardly ever keep them anyway. They really are completely pointless in my eyes.

But I am willing to accept that I may be seeing the world through grim-tinted spectacles. A lot of people may well keep their New Year’s resolutions, but the aspect to my cynicism that I want to address is the “why wait until New Year?” aspect. History is defined in years, and it isn’t such a bad method for measuring the way that things change.

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An example we can all relate to is, perhaps, school. Although the “years” in which it takes place are from September to July, every year is different, and you can set yourself challenges based on the experience you had last year. In a field like marketing, it may make sense to have a policy like this at the beginning of every New Year.

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An article in Forbes magazine has concluded that better online marketing is something that 2017 will benefit from, such as interactive marketing, VR, improved chatbots and short-lived, snapchat inspired content.

One example of something to avoid, that I personally, can think of, which I have blogged about before, is the (while often being well-intended) use of celebrity deaths to advertise products and services. In a year of celebrity deaths, it was often used, and failed miserably. I did defend these terrible moves because I don’t like shame culture (see article) but I also concluded that they’re only ever going to be met by either anger or cynicism. But a few days ago, on the anniversary of David Bowie’s passing, British Gas tweeted:  ‘Morning all. A year today since we lost a pop icon David Bowie, time flys don’t it? We’re here till 10pm if you need anything. Thanks, Paul #RipDB.’

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As I would have predicted, British Gas’s hapless Paul is already a contender for tweeting the worst tweet of the year and seemingly now the target of Twitter Trolls.  The spelling and grammar’s bad enough, never mind the awkward subject matter. Either Paul broke his New Year’s resolution pretty quickly, or he didn’t realise that ‘not using celebrity deaths for marketing purposes’ might have been a good one to have in the first place.

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